Hogan Lovells to close Perth office

Firm reveals decision to focus on ‘consolidated base in Sydney’ as mining head departs for Allen & Overy

Hogan Lovells is to close down its Perth office following a review of its Australia operations.

The office was opened in 2015 alongside a Sydney base when the transatlantic firm launched in Australia with the hire of two partners from Linklaters' Australia ally Allens.

News of the move follows the hire earlier today by Allen & Overy of Hogan Lovells’ global head of mining Matthew Johnson, who was based in Perth. The firm’s website currently lists just one associate in Perth, alongside Johnson.

‘We have been reviewing our Australia operations in recent months and have determined that our clients and the sectors that we support in the region will be better served from a consolidated base in Sydney,’ the firm said in a statement.

‘We will be winding down our Perth office in the coming months and supporting our people through this transition. We are proud of our work and achievements throughout the country and we remain committed to serving our clients through our Sydney office, under the leadership of our Australia managing partner, Scott Harris.’

Johnson joined Hogan Lovells from Clayton Utz in December 2016 and headed up the Perth office, its founder, Tim Lester, having departed in 2019 to set up boutique corporate advisory firm Jameson Boyce Partners with his wife Nicky, who had founded the larger Sydney office.

The couple jointly led Hogan Lovells' Australia practice until 2018 when they handed the reins to Harris, who joined the firm in 2016 from DLA Piper.

Perth is home to a number of international law firms thanks to its status as a regional hub for resources and energy.

Allen & Overy has also chosen the city for the location of a second low cost legal centre to complement its existing hub in Belfast. It announced the new centre last November and hired Perth-based lawyer Derek Chia from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) to head it up in February. 

Last month, Western Australia appointed Perth-based Jones Day partner Michael Lundberg as its first Aboriginal Supreme Court judge.

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